Northington Blog

PlanForComfort: Get Organized, Get Simplified, Get Styled

10409386_741290345924109_6220099521097928578_nIt’s with great pleasure to introduce Shana Chaplin and Madeline Cox, owners and operators of SOS, A full-service Organizing and Re-Design firm for homes and small businesses located right here in Little Rock AR. I got to know both Shana and Madeline as school volunteers at Baker Elementary School. As I look back at my time at Baker, I remember specifically thinking how much talent was working at this school strictly on a volunteer basis. A rich talent pool of women who decided to invest time, energy, money into their children at a time that it’s needed the most. It does not surprise me at all that two of them have partnered to form their very own business enterprise dedicated to helping individuals and businesses de stress, get organized or what we like to say at Northington Investment Group, experience “Comfort”.

Northington: Welcome Shana and Madeline to our Northington Financial Blog, Introduce yourselves to the Northington tribe…..

Shana: I am wife to Paul Chaplin, a real estate appraisal business owner, mom to 16 year old twins, former non-profit management specialist and current co-owner of SOS.

Madeline: I am a wife to Oscar Cox, Territory Manager for Hobart Service Company, a mother to a 16 year old son, former medical management consultant, and current co-owner of SOS.

Northington: Share with us the story on the decision behind launching your company S.O.S.

Shana & Madeline: Madeline and I met at Baker Elementary when our kids began Kindergarten. We formed a fast friendship and began serving as room moms and PTO/PTA volunteers. We quickly realized we had similar lifestyles and passions-organizing being at the top of the list. As our kids grew and life transitions occurred, we decided to give a shot at turning a hobby into a business. We had been helping teachers, friends and family for years. We each bring to the business experience in personnel management, program development, training, and organizing. We live what we “preach”.

Shana and I hit it off immediately when we met at Baker Elementary. I do not encounter many people who are as organized as I am, and find the process enjoyable. As Shana said, we started volunteering our time and efforts and thought we could turn this way of life into a business.

Northington: Getting our clients organized financially is the foundation of everything we do at Northington Investment Group, Can you share with our tribe how getting your clients organized impacts their lives? And maybe share a client story?

Shana & Madeline: First, let’s be clear that being organized isn’t about getting more done or adding more to your life. Being organized is about freedom and confidence. Organization, whether it is of your stuff or your time, gives you confidence because you are managing your stuff and your time. Too often people live in reverse. Their time and their things manage them because they have no real structure or plan to limit what comes in and what goes out. They don’t even know what they have, how many things they are committed to etc…

The first step in helping a client get organized is identifying the problem. For some it is stuff. For others it is lack of a planning system. For others it is an overbooked calendar. For many it is all of the above.

We recently helped a single mom and business owner handle processing and organizing her parent’s estate. She had spent years avoiding the situation-and for some good reasons (newly divorced, owning her own business and her business partner retiring, moving into a new home…) However, avoiding the situation was causing stress within her extended family and was holding her back from having the work space and home space she desired and needed. As we walked her through the purging and sorting process of the estate, she became motivated to tackle her own storage area at home AND move her office to her home to minimize expenses and have more time with her family.

Again, being organized saves time and money, but more importantly it ensures you are living your best life, doing the things that matter most and living in spaces that work for you.

Northington: Women are shaping the small business landscape, What resources have you used to help launch your business, S.O.S.?

Shana: Relationships. I can’t stress that enough. And I think women are really good at this. Madeline and I value relationships. We invest in our families and friends and are loyal. We have found that results in others treating us the same.

We got some initial research and support from the Arkansas Technology and Small Business Development Center at UALR where one of my best friends serves as Assistant Director. Great research and tools. Helped us structure our business, set fees and see what others in the profession are doing.

Facebook has helped as has our blog. At the end of the day though, word of mouth and personal relationships have brought us the greatest success.

Madeline: I agree with Shana, it is relationships and also word of mouth and reputation. We are honorable and loyal people, and friends who know us can testify to that fact, it rolls over into business and it has been my experience that clients appreciate that.

Northington: We love to leave our followers with 1 or 2 best ideas to help them feel empowered, change their lives, What can you leave our tribe today that can help them feel empowered to get more organized, Simplified, or Styled?

Shana:

  • Never have more than 3 major projects going at one time. You’ll never be able to do them all well.
  • Time block. Set aside time to focus on specific projects. Gone are the days of multi-tasking. Multi-tasking actually eats up time and causes a “short circuit” in your brain. Even 15-30 minutes of focused time can impact your ability to move forward on a project.
  • Plan your next week on Friday. I began this about a year ago. I block off time to plan the following week on Friday afternoon. I am able to set it all aside then over the weekend, knowing I have a game plan in place come Monday morning. It’s a good use of your Friday-especially considering most of us are fairly burned out come Friday afternoon. It also gives you a great start to your week come Monday morning when you are recharged and refreshed.

Madeline:    

  • Your calendar is your best tool. Find a calendar or a planner that works for you, not one you have to work to use.
  • Schedule time for everything, especially you. This could be time to read a book, get a mani/pedi, have lunch with a long time friend, or whatever your passion is. We often will schedule  eve rything for the kids, the house, work, but we neglect ourselves. We cannot possibly be our best if we have given it all elsewhere.
  • Organizing is not a project, it is a way of life. Yes, you can make a project out of cleaning out a large space, but if you have a system in place that works with your life, make a commitment to follow what works for you, it becomes a way of life and not a daunting task. Break items down into manageable tasks; check out our Facebook page as we currently started 40 bags in 40 days.

We hope you enjoyed meeting Shana and Madeline and their business SOS.  If you would like to contact them, you may reach them at 501.680.0969 Monday-Friday By Appointment.   And if we can help you work toward financial comfort, contact Stephen Northington at 501.993.0167 or Stephen.Northington@lpl.com

Shana Chaplin, Madeline Cox, S.O.S., and LPL Financial are unaffiliated entities